Fairfax Co. teaching assistant charged with assaulting special needs student

An instructional assistant at a Fairfax County, Virginia, elementary school has been charged with assaulting a special needs student, police said Wednesday.

The alleged assault took place Sept. 16 at Dogwood Elementary School in Reston, Virginia.

Fairfax County police said two teachers went into their classroom and saw Mark MacDicken, 60, of Centreville, assaulting the student.

MacDicken had been employed at the school for about 10 years.

Police charged MacDicken with assault Tuesday. He was released on his signature.

In a letter to parents Wednesday, Dogwood Principal Kate Beckner said MacDicken is currently on administrative leave while the case is resolved.

“Two staff members who allegedly witnessed the incident immediately contacted administration and we took swift action to contact the authorities,” she said.

Beckner she was “deeply saddened” at the situation.

“The primary responsibility for anyone who works in education is the safety and wellbeing of children. When that trust appears to be broken, it affects us all,” she said.

The police said that victim specialists have been assigned to ensure the child is receiving the appropriate help.

Police have asked anyone else with information about the incident are asked to call 703-246-7800.

Anyone with information may also call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477).

Tadiwos Abedje

Tadi Abedje is a freelance digital writer/editor for WTOP. He was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Northern Virginia. Journalism has been his No. 1 passion since he was a kid and he is blessed to be around people, telling their stories and sharing them with the world.

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